El Paso

Escobar in front of a mural by artist El Mac in downtown El Paso on April 6, 2019.
Veronica vs. the Swamp

Sep 19, 2019 By Robert Moore

Veronica Escobar, the first Latina to represent El Paso in Congress, isn’t afraid of playing the Washington game—as long as it means the Texas borderlands get the respect they deserve.

rio grande
The Other Side of the Border

Jul 23, 2019 By Oscar Casares

Frustrated by the perception of the border as a lawless land, two native sons embarked on a 1,200-mile journey to capture, through a series of images and letters, the region’s untold stories.

Desert Oak Barbecue
El Paso’s Desert Oak Barbecue Has Come a Long Way

Jul 12, 2018 By Daniel Vaughn

Three large red letters caught my eye at a busy intersection in El Paso, and I knew I’d found the new home for Desert Oak Barbecue. “BBQ” is the only thing written above the door, but it stands out amid the strip center clutter. It’s a big step up from…

Desert Oak Barbecue

Nov 20, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

Back in April, I gave El Paso some tough love. I had tried and failed to find good barbecue there, and I wrote about my futile search in an article called “BBQ in Far West Texas? I’ll Paso.” With a headline like that, it’s no surprise that the piece resulted in…

BBQ in Far West Texas? I’ll Paso

Apr 14, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

On January 18, 1910, a newspaper advertisement for Watson’s Grocery included “Smoked Brisket Beef” for thirty cents per pound. It’s the earliest advertisement for smoked brisket that I have found in Texas, and it was in El Paso. With such a long history of smoking briskets you’d think they would…

Brisket Hash in El Paso

Apr 13, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

They’ve been smoking briskets over mesquite since Tony’s The Pit Bar-B-Q opened in 1958. Tony Vargas Sr. started the place, but according to Martha Vargas, it was her husband Tony Vargas Jr. that’s responsible for its most famous menu item – brisket hash. Mrs. Vargas recited the ingredient list without…